This is where you can read the manhwa. https://www.lezhin.com/en/comic/painter But be aware that this manhwa is a mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes.
What caught my attention is the huge influence Min has over Jihwa. The moment The Joker starts talking to the host, the red-haired aristocrat is not willing to listen to him. Due to his suggestion, he suffered a lot in the past, therefore he doesn’t want to make the same experience again: anxiety and remorse. Yet, at the end of the chapter 67, Jihwa is sitting like an obedient monkey and paying attention to Black Heart’s words. It was, as if the red-haired noble had given up on his “humanity” in the sense, he is no longer using his brain. How could this happen? The readers will blame Yoon Seungho for this. The moment he barged in his bedchamber, Jihwa ran away from his childhood friend and hid behind the windscreen. He was too scared and didn’t want to face Yoon Seungho’s wrath. But this attitude exposed simultaneously that he was not willing to assume his responsibilities. Remember that he relied on Nameless so much. Since the latter had become his hands, it signified that the criminal was accountable for the crime. Note this panel outlines Jihwa’s escapism. “I know, he couldn’t have seen me”, the scared man imagined, because Baek Na-Kyum had his eyes covered, then he wouldn’t get caught. What he failed to realize is that first, he spoke so that the servant could have recognized his voice, Nameless was well aware of this. Then, he counted on Nameless’ promise. For me, this panel embodies Jihwa’s habit: avoiding any responsibility for a wrongdoing, which could be seen in the three wise monkeys: In reality, a perverted version, as for Jihwa, if no one sees, speaks or hears his misdeed, then it means, he has nothing to fear. He has the impression that nothing happened. Getting caught triggers his anxieties, as it is connected to the incident with the door and Yoon Seungho’s suffering. And now you understand why Jihwa was so scared after the scene Yoon Seungho made: he had been caught for the third time!! Chapter 18 , chapter 57 and chapter 67 And each time, Yoon Seungho’s anger increased. However, each time, the aristocrat with black eyes never expressed remorse and offered an apology. I would even add that he never saw these as misdeeds, as he always justified his misdeeds. In chapter 10/17, Baek Na-Kyum represented a source of temptation for his friend and he had even seduced him. Then when he sent lord Song’s fake letter to his friend, he justified his action by putting the blame on his friend for changing and cutting ties with him. Finally, the painter was the reason why he got rejected. In all three cases, he never questioned, how his actions affected his victims. That’s why even when he got caught, he never changed his behavior. This explicates why Jihwa didn’t learn his lesson, as he didn’t see the wrongdoings and its impact on others.
Hence one might think that Jihwa changed his mind because of the main lead’s behavior and menace. But it only looks like that on the surface, as from my point of view, the trigger for this switch are Min’s words. First he offered help. Then he predicted Yoon Seungho’s arrival, so that Jihwa was deceived. Black Heart had already prepared his move. He created the illusion that “To Help you” was genuine, as his prediction had become true. For me, “to help you” played a huge role, as Min is well aware of the red-haired noble’s personality. He knows that the neglected child has never been willing to take any responsibility, letting others take the blame. There’s a reason for that: Min was his teacher, The Joker who never got caught himself. For Jihwa, the idiom “to help you” is a synonym for reliability. Therefore he has the impression that thanks to Black Heart, he can keep avoiding any accountability. But Min, as The Joker, will be the one teaching him a lesson. The latter has already planned for Jihwa to take the fall, making him believe that the commoners (Heena, Kim and eventually Nameless) will be blamed for the painter’s second kidnapping. What Jihwa fails to realize is that since Black Heart revealed his secret twice, the latter needs to put a neat, clean ending, so that no one will realize the existence of a mastermind behind the second kidnapping. My prediction is that Min has already calculated Jihwa’s death. This is the devil talking, when he voices those words: He is tempting Jihwa. The Joker was there, when Yoon Seungho warned the former friend and used his sword against him. That’s why the Joker could only laugh, when he saw Jihwa trembling after seeing the weapon so closely. He had to contain his laugh and smile behind his hand. He saw it as a confirmation that the noble would retaliate, if Baek Na-Kyum got abducted a second time. The lord wouldn’t even question his childhood friend. That way, Min would be able to get away, while Yoon Seungho would have to face infuriated aristocrats who would despise him for killing one of their fellows for a low-born. Imagine the destruction he is preparing, just to taste the painter.
That’s how strong his desire and needs are. The devastation he is plotting mirrors the power of his feelings or better said obsession. There’s no doubt that the kiss worsened his condition. That’s why he waited at Jihwa’s door the next morning. He could barely contain his impatience and his jealousy. The lord was far from being in a good mood. His smile is actually an expression of his anger and resent. As time passed on, his desire for the artist got so strong that at the end, he felt the need to approach Yoon Seungho’s mansion. But there, he had to see the painter’s smooth legs in the main lead’s arms. And now, imagine Min’s face, when he saw this: even the merchant, who never had sex with a man before was already bewitched by them. And now, you comprehend why Min has the sensation that he has been bewitched and can’t escape from this attraction. Therefore, it becomes comprehensible why Min wishes to have Jihwa killed in the end. He resents him for putting him in a misery. He had ordered his red-haired servant to bring him the painter, but the childish man had not only disobeyed him twice, but he had made it more difficult for Min to obtain the painter. Yoon Seungho would be on his guard now. That’s the other reason why Black Heart has already projected Jihwa’s death.
But why doesn’t Jihwa realize that? Why doesn’t he use his brain or his ears? I mean, Yoon Seungho warned him, but in reality he was asking Jihwa to stop meddling in his life. In other words, Yoon Seungho was still lenient, as he didn’t ask for a punishment. The only thing the noble needed to do was to avoid his friend’s path. But the problem is that Jihwa got so anxious, as he had been caught that he could no longer think straight. His anxiety was so strong that he wasn’t even able to walk. Observe the presence of The Joker on the windscreen. Since the aristocrat is so paralyzed by his anxiety, his weakened condition explains why he falls for Black Heart’s manipulation so easily. At the same time, this drawing illustrates that Jihwa’s fear is more linked to getting caught than to Yoon Seungho’s wrath. Let’s not forget that in chapter 59, the readers heard about the protagonist’s rage shocking the noble with the mole. Yet, Jihwa didn’t seem to upset and traumatized after that, which the friend noted. He was even surprised that the red-haired noble was able to maintain his relationship with his childhood friend. I see it as a proof that his angst is linked to apprehension and arrest. That’s why I believe that the advice given by Min before the appearance of the main lead played a huge role. Since Jihwa has internalized avoidance and escapism, assistance sounds like avoidance of responsibility. And now, you understand, Jihwa has been following his “teacher”‘s rules so faithfully: This explicates why The Joker knows how to manipulate the young man. Note that in this scene, he is actually contradicting his own doctrine. While the red-haired aristocrat decided to run away (escapism), the devil convinced him otherwise. Yet, the childish protagonist was not able to notice the hypocrisy and the lies. Yoon Seungho had indeed proposed a neat and clean ending: Never to cross his path. Nothing was clearer and neater than the sword swayed next to his face. He never expressed the desire to get revenge or to have him punished. However, Jihwa couldn’t think properly, too emotionally upset. Besides, the manhwaworms can perceive in the panel above that the red-haired noble is is hiding his face and covering his ears, unable to face reality and truth. Consequently, he is blind and deaf so that he is not able to perceive evil standing right in front of him.
As a first conclusion, Min is seducing Jihwa for the second time, asking his disciple to follow his rules: Baek Na-Kyum’s abduction, rape and murder. The irony is that The Joker presents himself as savior to his terrified servant, making him believe that he just needs to follow his instructions. Like I mentioned above, there’s no doubt that Min is planning to use Heena noona and even Kim. First, he heard from the guardian that people believed that the sister was involved in the artist’s disappearance. Secondly, he saw the uproar she caused at the entrance of the propriety. Moreover, the Joker must have noticed how Kim was standing at the door, yet the latter never stopped him and allowed him to be pushed away. This gesture signalized that the valet was a pushover. Besides, I have to admit that I am suspecting Kim to have met Min during that night in chapter 52/53/54. Back then, I was wondering where the man was, when the door of Baek Na-Kyum’s study was destroyed and when Deok-Jae fled. Furthermore, between the time Yoon Seungho brought Baek Na-Kyum to his room and Black Heart’s return, minutes elapsed… yet Kim never intervened. I have the impression, he played a similar role than during the night of the rape. He acted in the shadow, following his favorite philosophy: He is very similar to Jihwa, he is avoiding any responsibility by faking ignorance, whereas Jihwa has not learned to recognize evil and wrongdoings. Therefore I believe that The Joker must have recognized the butler’s true personality. Besides, because the valet doesn’t want to get into trouble with a noble, he can only accept any request from them. To sum up, in my opinion, the Joker’s plan is to involve Nameless, Heena noona and Kim, but he will make Jihwa the scapegoat. In Black Heart’s plot, his disciple killed the artist due to his fiery jealousy, whereas he tells the “monkey” that commoners like Heena noona will be blamed for this. However, Min already talked to Kim and asked him to let Heena noona to meet her brother. Min is expecting that the gisaeng will try to convince her brother to escape from the mansion. She just needs to get the opportunity to speak with Baek Na-Kyum. These words are important, as it shows that Kim has already envisaged what she will say to him. Hence Kim said this: he doesn’t need to say anything, while at the same time, he is putting the whole blame on her. He will say that he had no idea that she entered the mansion, therefore he justified his intervention: Kim has many reasons to act like this. First, the lord noticed his lack of competence (chapter 65) , secondly the painter caused him so many worries that he can only consider the low-born as a source of trouble now. Min must have convinced him that he won’t get caught due to the gisaeng’s intervention and scream. Besides Jihwa will get suspected, if a second kidnapping occurs. Therefore, he can always feign ignorance.
And now, you will ask the role played by the second Joker, Nameless. Where does he intervene? In order to answer that question, it is important to examine the circumstances which led to the first abduction. The reason is simple. Since this story is based on the principle, “history is repeating itself”, this signifies that the second crime will be similar, yet the chronology and the roles will be switched.
- Min as instigator at his friend’s house
- First, the crime was postponed, for Nameless hoped that Jihwa would change his mind: DELAY. This signifies that time passed on leading to the second lead’s agony: IMPATIENCE
- Nameless hired Deok-Jae as spy: SPY
- Deok-Jae was asked to push Baek Na-Kyum to leave the mansion which ended up in a failure: FIRST ATTEMPT FAILED
- Min saw the incident with Deok-Jae, the latter could escape: BRUTAL BEATING, ESCAPE
- Kim brought the painter to the doctor without his lord’s permission: VISIT TO THE DOCTOR
- The doctor saw something but out of fear, he remained silent: WITNESS
- In Nameless’ opinion, Jihwa’s fake letter contributed to organize the crime: JIHWA’S ROLE
- Deok-Jae’s death due to blackmail: SERVANT’S DEATH
- Nameless told him that Jihwa would have to make the choice and take his responsibility: RESPONSIBILITY
- The consequence: an uproar in town due to the behavior of Yoon Seungho’s servants.
If you look at the summary, you’ll notice that we have 4 persons involved in the first kidnapping: Min, Jihwa, Nameless and Deok-Jae. Yet, Kim and the physician helped them indirectly, as Kim allowed the artist to leave the mansion without his lord’s permission and the physician acted, as though he saw nothing. In other words, we have 6 participants. Therefore, I believe that there will be another person involved in the second abduction beside Nameless, Min, Jihwa, Heena and Kim. This seems to corroborate my theory that Nameless has already planted a spy at Yoon Seungho’s mansion. But there’s another person who could play an important role in the second kidnapping: the head-maid of the kitchen. Don’t get me wrong: I am not saying that she will help them, but she will be involved, because she will help the noble and the painter.
Now, I will explain my prediction. The numbers at the beginning of each paragraph are referring to the list of the elements for the first kidnapping.
1./2. What caught my attention is the importance of time and how the first crime got delayed. Since I portrayed Min as extremely impatient due to his strong desire to taste the painter, I believe that he will be the one suffering the most!! (DELAY, IMPATIENCE) The Joker is fell into his own trap! Why?
4. His plan to use Heena noona will fail (1. ATTEMPT FAILED). From my point of view, Baek Na-Kyum will reject her offer and explain that he prefers staying at the mansion. Let’s not forget that the painter dreamed of Yoon Seungho while resting. His dream was a mixture of dream and reality, yet as you know, the artist’s dream has always come true. Besides, when he woke up, he imagined that he was seeing his lord, exposing his desire to have him by his side. That’s why I believe that Baek Na-Kyum won’t follow her suggestion. Besides, the manhwaphiles shouldn’t forget that the head-maid was heading to the painter’s chamber. Consequently, I am expecting a new version from chapter 46. From my point of view, her words will have an influence on the low-born and his sister. Another evidence for this theory is the incident in Baek Na-Kyum’s study in chapter 53. The artist refused to leave the propriety, although he was hurt by Deok-Jae. In my opinion, the commoner will reject her offer so that Min is forced to wait. Imagine Min’s torments!! They will be so different from Jihwa’s. I have the feeling that unlike his disciple who drank to hide his anxieties, the lord Min will resort to opium. Min’s new hanbok in chapter 56 exposes his transformation: the pattern reminds the readers of the opium smoke. Furthermore, his return was announced with this picture: There’s no doubt for me that Min will get caught and will suffer the consequences of his manipulations. Since The Joker’s return, I have always predicted his death: he gets suffocated due to strangulation. First, Yoon Seungho broke the pheasant’s neck during the hunt with Min (chapter 41). The blood on his hands comes from the wounds caused by the arrows. But I also noticed a progression, how the lord used his hands during the second season: from this (chapter 61) to this (chapter 67). His hands are getting closer to the throat, for me a clue that Yoon Seungho will eliminate his rival personally.
6. Because of his impatience and his increasing urges, I sense that Min will decide to put Kim under pressure, either directly or through Jihwa. Since the domestic is a pushover, he will be forced to follow the order. That’s why Kim will have to lie to the painter. I have the impression that he will use the sister as excuse. She desires to meet him outside the mansion. It is also possible that a visit to the doctor could be the cause for the artist to believe the hypocrite valet. (BAEK NA-KYUM’s VISIT AS CAUSE FOR HIS DISAPPEARANCE) Kim will lead Baek Na-Kyum to the trap. Honestly, I am expecting a new version of chapter 29, when Jung In-Hun led the painter back to the mansion. Yet, this time it will be the other way around.
9. This time, valet Kim won’t be able to escape his fate. He will be executed by his own master in the end (SERVANT’S DEATH). I doubt that Yoon Seungho will believe his words:
7./ 11. In my perspective, his departure will be noticed. Since Kim can’t ask the low-born to leave during the night, the second attempt will happen during the day. Because Kim and Baek Na-Kyum will walk through town, inhabitants will notice their move. Remember how Jung In-Hun felt uncomfortable, when Baek Na-Kyum met him on the street. He was annoyed, as he feared people’s gaze and asked the painter to follow him to an isolated place. Since I am imagining a new version of chapter 29, I am expecting that Baek Na-Kyum’s walk through town will attract people’s attention. Let’s not forget that in chapter 64, his escape caused a huge uproar, and I doubt that people will have already forgotten the artist. Since the low-born was seen many times in that town and no one paid attention to him before, Kim will imagine that no one will notice the artist. Remember that no one observed them, when they went to the doctor for the first time. And in the mean time, Baek Na-Kyum won’t leave the propriety for the time being. However, Kim is not expecting that people will witness him.
10./8/ 3 As for Nameless, I believe that he will play a similar role: he will ask Jihwa to become responsible and no longer avoid his wrongdoings, as Jihwa played a role in the second crime. I also think, the criminal will force him to witness the consequences of his choices and will refuse to take the fall. I am still expecting that Jihwa will be punished for Deok-Jae’s death. It is still possible that the red-haired noble changes his mind, and tries to stop the second abduction. There’s no doubt that Min’s plan will affect the second lead’s relationship with the criminal. I have the feeling that Nameless will play a key role in Min’s demise. First, the Joker has truly perceived Nameless’ true role: Do you remember that a buffoon is a synonym for “joker”? From my point of view, Nameless has already placed a spy at Yoon Seungho’s mansion. I am still convinced that the new guardian is giving info to the criminal due to his explanations to Min. His words reflected the butcher’s plan so well, besides he was so sure for the desertion without feeling angry and hurt. Sure, I made a mistake and mistook the man at Jihwa’s mansion as the same person due to the color of the shirt. However, this doesn’t mean that Nameless abandoned the idea of planting a spy. He warned the painter not to talk. From my point of view, the butcher never expected the lord’s reaction. Imagine, his servants caused such an uproar so that Nameless should have realized that his attempt to transform the disappearance into a normal escape failed. And if my assumption about the guardian as spy is correct, Nameless will realize that there’s a mastermind behind the abduction… especially if Jihwa argues with him about the discovery and reproaches him his bad work. I have to admit that I am uncertain about the criminal’s role. It is definitely possible that Jihwa is asked to contact Nameless again. Let’s not forget, Min believes that Nameless is someone who will do anything for money. He can’t imagine that the criminal was the one who convinced the red-haired noble not to commit the murder. However, this time the butcher will refuse. Even if Jihwa’s involvement has been revealed, I doubt that the criminal is not aware of Yoon Seungho’s visit to the family Lee. Since Yoon Seungho didn’t retaliate against Jihwa and only warned him, Nameless has no reason to intervene first. From my point of view, it looks like Yoon Seungho is still not looking too closely to the circumstances of the abduction and Deok-Jae’s servant. But it could change, forcing Nameless to intervene. Due to my previous analyses about Nameless, I came to the conclusion that he represents Jihwa’s conscience, hence he is his liberator. Consequently Nameless can eventually become Jihwa’s hands again, yet this time, Jihwa will never be able to escape his fate: he will be caught and be forced to become responsible. As you can sense, I am still unsure about Nameless’ actions. My instinct is to say that he will refuse to help the red-haired noble first, but could change his mind. One thing is sure: Nameless will confront Jihwa and let him see the consequences of his decisions. I am still hoping that he plays a huge role in the discovery of the mastermind, but there’s nothing sure, as Byeonduck prefers characters with flaws. In her story, there’s no hero, except the artist, if we overlook his lies in the beginning.
My prediction is that Baek Na-Kyum’s second abduction won’t be successful due to Nameless, the presence of witnesses and Min’s miscalculations. The latter will become impatient. Secondly, he doesn’t pay attention to commoners and is underestimating the butcher’s influence on Jihwa. Finally, he is underestimating his opponent Yoon Seungho and his own obsession for the painter. In this scene, Min is not only lying to Jihwa, but also to himself. I doubt, that his thirst for the artist will be satisfied with a single sex session. Like I mentioned it before, Min became fascinated by the artist’s gaze oozing desire and purity. Furthermore, I believe that the artist will resist this time due to the scene at the pavilion in chapter 25, it is still possible that he is able to escape too. Finally, the lord will know for sure that the artist didn’t run away from him this time. That’s why he will use other means to find his lover: that’s how the purge will take place. As you can anticipate it, my predictions are based on observations, therefore it can definitely turn out differently. Yet, I think the list I made could be helpful to envision the evolution of the story. In other words, you are more than welcome to imagine a different story about the second kidnapping.
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